2017 ORS 419A.255¹
Maintenance
  • disclosure
  • providing transcript
  • exceptions to confidentiality

(1)(a) The clerk of the court shall maintain a record of each case and a supplemental confidential file for each case, except as otherwise provided in ORS 7.120 (Disposition of exhibits, notes and audio records of circuit court cases).

(b) The record of the case shall be withheld from public inspection but is open to inspection by the following:

(A) The judge of the juvenile court and those acting under the judge’s direction;

(B) The child;

(C) The ward;

(D) The youth;

(E) The youth offender;

(F) The parent or guardian of the child, ward, youth or youth offender;

(G) The guardian ad litem for the parent;

(H) A person allowed to intervene in a proceeding involving the child, ward, youth or youth offender;

(I) The court appointed special advocate, and a representative of a CASA Volunteer Program as defined in ORS 184.489 (Definitions), when reasonably necessary for the appointment or supervision of court appointed special advocates;

(J) The attorneys or prospective appellate attorneys for any of the persons listed in subparagraphs (B) to (I) of this paragraph;

(K) The surrogate;

(L) Service providers in the case;

(M) The district attorney or assistant attorney general representing a party in the case;

(N) The juvenile department;

(O) The Department of Human Services;

(P) The Oregon Youth Authority; and

(Q) Any other person or entity allowed by the court pursuant to ORS 419A.258 (Motion to inspect or copy records).

(c) The following are entitled to copies of the record of the case:

(A) The judge of the juvenile court and those acting under the judge’s direction;

(B) A party to the extent permitted under ORS 419B.875 (Parties to proceedings) (2) or 419C.285 (Parties to delinquency proceeding) (2);

(C) A guardian ad litem for a parent to the same extent the parent is permitted to copies under ORS 419B.875 (Parties to proceedings) (2) or 419C.285 (Parties to delinquency proceeding) (2);

(D) Persons listed in paragraph (b)(J) to (P) of this subsection; and

(E) Any other person or entity allowed by the court pursuant to ORS 419A.258 (Motion to inspect or copy records).

(2)(a) Reports and other material relating to the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history and prognosis in the record of the case or the supplemental confidential file are privileged and, except at the request of the child, ward, youth or youth offender, shall be withheld from public inspection except that inspection is permitted as set forth in subsection (1)(b) of this section and paragraph (b) of this subsection. The offer or admission of reports and other material in the record of the case or the supplemental confidential file as exhibits in a hearing or trial does not waive or otherwise change the privileged status of the reports and other material, except for purposes of the hearing or trial in which the reports and other material are offered or admitted. Once offered as an exhibit, reports and other material relating to the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s history and prognosis that were maintained in the supplemental confidential file become part of the record of the case but are subject to paragraph (e) of this subsection.

(b) A supplemental confidential file is open to inspection by the following:

(A) The judge of the juvenile court and those acting under the judge’s direction;

(B) The parent or guardian of the child or ward in a dependency case;

(C) The guardian ad litem for the parent of a child or ward in a dependency case;

(D) The parent or guardian of the youth or youth offender in a delinquency case if the youth or youth offender consents to, or the court authorizes, inspection;

(E) The guardian ad litem for the parent of a youth or youth offender in a delinquency case if the youth or youth offender consents to, or the court authorizes, inspection;

(F) A person allowed to intervene in a proceeding involving the child, ward, youth or youth offender;

(G) The court appointed special advocate, and a representative of a CASA Volunteer Program as defined in ORS 184.489 (Definitions), when reasonably necessary for the appointment or supervision of court appointed special advocates;

(H) The surrogate;

(I) Service providers in the case;

(J) The attorneys or prospective appellate attorneys for:

(i) The child;

(ii) The ward;

(iii) The youth;

(iv) The youth offender;

(v) The parent or guardian of the child, ward, youth or youth offender;

(vi) The guardian ad litem for the parent;

(vii) A person allowed to intervene in a proceeding involving the child or ward in a dependency case; or

(viii) The court appointed special advocate and a representative of a CASA Volunteer Program as defined in ORS 184.489 (Definitions);

(K) The district attorney or assistant attorney general representing a party in the case;

(L) The juvenile department;

(M) The Department of Human Services;

(N) The Oregon Youth Authority; and

(O) Any other person or entity allowed by the court pursuant to ORS 419A.258 (Motion to inspect or copy records).

(c) The supplemental confidential file in cases under ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction) may be disclosed to the superintendent of the school district in which the youth offender resides or the superintendent’s designee.

(d) The following are entitled to copies of material maintained in the supplemental confidential file:

(A) The judge of the juvenile court and those acting under the judge’s direction;

(B) Service providers in the case;

(C) School superintendents and their designees in cases under ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction);

(D) Attorneys designated under subsection (2)(b)(J) of this section;

(E) The district attorney or assistant attorney general representing a party in the case;

(F) The juvenile department;

(G) The Department of Human Services;

(H) The Oregon Youth Authority;

(I) The court appointed special advocate, and a representative of a CASA Volunteer Program as defined in ORS 184.489 (Definitions), when reasonably necessary for the appointment or supervision of court appointed special advocates; and

(J) Any other person or entity allowed by the court pursuant to ORS 419A.258 (Motion to inspect or copy records).

(e) A person that obtains copies of material in the supplemental confidential file pursuant to paragraph (d) of this subsection is responsible for preserving the confidentiality of the material in the supplemental confidential file. A service provider, school superintendent or superintendent’s designee who obtains copies of such material shall destroy the copies upon the conclusion of involvement in the case.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of this section, no information appearing in the record of the case or in the supplemental confidential file may be disclosed to any person not described in subsections (1)(b) and (2)(b) of this section, respectively, without the consent of the court, except for purposes of evaluating the child, ward, youth or youth offender’s eligibility for special education as provided in ORS chapter 343, and no such information may be used in evidence in any proceeding to establish criminal or civil liability against the child, ward, youth or youth offender, whether such proceeding occurs after the child, ward, youth or youth offender has reached 18 years of age or otherwise, except for the following purposes:

(a) In connection with a presentence investigation after guilt has been admitted or established in a criminal court.

(b) In connection with a proceeding in another juvenile court concerning the child, ward, youth or youth offender or an appeal from the juvenile court.

(4)(a) When a person described in subsection (1)(b)(M), (N), (O) or (P) of this section inspects or obtains copies of reports, materials or documents under this subsection or under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, the person may not use or disclose the reports, materials or documents, except:

(A) As provided in this subsection or under subsection (1) or (2) of this section;

(B) In the juvenile court proceeding for which the reports, materials or documents were sought or disclosed;

(C) With the consent of the court; or

(D) As provided in ORS 419A.253 (When information in report, material or document considered by court must be identified in record).

(b) Nothing in this section prohibits the district attorney or assistant attorney general representing a party in a juvenile court proceeding, the juvenile department, the Department of Human Services, the Oregon Youth Authority or other parties in the proceeding or their attorneys from disclosing to each other reports, materials or documents described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section if the disclosure is reasonably necessary to perform official duties related to the involvement of the child, ward, youth or youth offender with the juvenile court or the juvenile department. A person to whom reports, materials or documents are disclosed under this subsection is subject to subsection (3) of this section.

(5)(a) Information contained in the supplemental confidential file that, in the professional judgment of the juvenile counselor, caseworker, school superintendent or superintendent’s designee, teacher or detention worker to whom the information in the supplemental confidential file has been provided, indicates a clear and immediate danger to another person or to society shall be disclosed to the appropriate authority and the person who is in danger from the child, ward, youth or youth offender.

(b) A person that discloses information under paragraph (a) of this subsection has immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed for making the disclosure.

(c) Nothing in this subsection affects the provisions of ORS 146.750 (Injuries to be reported to law enforcement agency), 146.760 (Immunity of participant in making of report), 419B.035 (Confidentiality of records), 419B.040 (Certain privileges not grounds for excluding evidence in court proceedings on child abuse) and 419B.045 (Investigation conducted on school premises). The disclosure of information under this subsection does not make the information admissible in any court or administrative proceeding if it is not otherwise admissible.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to subsection (8) of this section, the following are not confidential and not exempt from disclosure:

(a) The name and date of birth of the youth or youth offender;

(b) The basis for the juvenile court’s jurisdiction over the youth or youth offender;

(c) The date, time and place of any juvenile court proceeding in which the youth or youth offender is involved;

(d) The act alleged in the petition that if committed by an adult would constitute a crime if jurisdiction is based on ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction);

(e) That portion of the juvenile court order providing for the legal disposition of the youth or youth offender when jurisdiction is based on ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction);

(f) The names and addresses of the youth or youth offender’s parents or guardians; and

(g) The register described in ORS 7.020 (Register) when jurisdiction is based on ORS 419C.005 (Jurisdiction).

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to subsection (8) of this section, when a youth has been taken into custody under ORS 419C.080 (Custody), the following information shall be disclosed unless, and only for so long as, there is a clear need to delay disclosure in the course of a specific investigation, including the need to protect the complaining party or the victim:

(a) The youth’s name and age and whether the youth is employed or in school;

(b) The youth offense for which the youth was taken into custody;

(c) The name and age of the adult complaining party and the adult victim, unless the disclosure of such information is otherwise prohibited or restricted;

(d) The identity of the investigating and arresting agency; and

(e) The time and place that the youth was taken into custody and whether there was resistance, pursuit or a weapon used in taking the youth into custody.

(8) Except as provided in ORS 419A.300 (Reports to school districts concerning young persons on conditional release) and unless otherwise directed by the court, only the juvenile court, the county juvenile department and the Oregon Youth Authority may disclose the information under subsections (6) and (7) of this section if the information is subject to disclosure. The youth authority may disclose only information relating to youth offenders committed to the youth authority by order of the juvenile court if the information is subject to disclosure under subsection (6) or (7) of this section.

(9) Nothing in this section limits access to any juvenile court records by an appellate court reviewing a juvenile court order or judgment. Appellate court rules may establish procedures for appellate court access to juvenile records.

(10) Nothing in this section prohibits the court from providing to the administrator as defined in ORS 25.010 (Definitions for support enforcement laws) the date of entry of a judgment terminating parental rights or the date of entry of a judgment terminating wardship following entry of a judgment of adoption together with the names and dates of birth of the parents and children subject to the judgment.

(11) In addition to any other provision in this section, the Judicial Department may permit county or statewide access to juvenile court records or information by county juvenile departments, the Department of Human Services, the Oregon Youth Authority, district attorney offices, the office of the Attorney General, the office of public defense services, prospective appellate attorneys or public defense providers subject to the following restrictions:

(a) A prospective appellate attorney or public defense provider granted access under this subsection must agree, pursuant to a written agreement with the Judicial Department, to access:

(A) Party information only for purposes of conflicts screening procedures; and

(B) Other records or information about a client only as reasonably necessary for the representation of that client in any juvenile case in which the client is a party, subject to applicable state and federal confidentiality laws.

(b) Any other person or entity granted access under this subsection must agree, pursuant to a written agreement with the department, to access records or information only as authorized and allowed by this section, subject to applicable state and federal confidentiality laws.

(c) The State Court Administrator shall prescribe standards and procedures to implement the provisions of this subsection.

(d) Any person or entity granted access to juvenile court records or information under this subsection must preserve the confidentiality of that information as required under this section.

(12) A petition filed under ORS 419B.851 (Service of process) alleging that a child who is a foreign national is within the jurisdiction of the court, or a motion requesting an implementation plan other than return of a ward to the ward’s parent, is subject to disclosure to the consulate for the child or ward’s country as provided under ORS 419B.851 (Service of process) (3).

(13) Nothing in this section prohibits a guardian appointed under ORS 419B.365 (Permanent guardianship) or 419B.366 (Guardianship) from disclosing or providing copies of letters of guardianship when so required to fulfill the duties of a guardian.

(14) The court shall cooperate in the sharing of information with a court in another state to facilitate an interstate placement of a child or ward.

(15) Nothing in this section prohibits the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals or a presiding judge from permitting access to juvenile court records, including the record of the case and the supplemental confidential file in a juvenile court proceeding, or audio or video recordings of a juvenile court proceeding, by researchers or evaluators for the purposes of developing statistics and performing analyses or audits on the effectiveness, cost and other areas of public interest regarding juvenile court programs and activities in accordance with child welfare and juvenile justice state plans and programs related to Title IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act and to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq). The Chief Justice shall, by rule or order, establish standards and guidelines for the release of juvenile court information for research and evaluation purposes to ensure confidentiality consistent with state and federal law and to promote consistent statewide application of this subsection. Statistics and analyses released by researchers and evaluators under this subsection may not contain any information that identifies any individual person involved in a juvenile court proceeding.

(16) Subject to subsection (11) of this section, the office of public defense services shall be permitted access to juvenile court records for the purposes of performing the office’s duties as set forth in ORS 151.219 (Public defense services executive director) to audit or investigate attorney appointment or representation of a party in a juvenile court proceeding in order to ensure adequate representation of parties in juvenile court proceedings consistent with the child welfare state plan related to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

(17) Subject to subsection (11) of this section, the Oregon State Bar shall be permitted access to juvenile court records maintained in the record of the case for the purpose of performing the bar’s duties as set forth in ORS 9.005 (Definitions for ORS 9.005 to 9.757) to 9.757 (Retention of client materials) to investigate attorney representation of a party in a juvenile court proceeding and in order to ensure adequate representation of parties in juvenile court proceedings consistent with the child welfare state plan related to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

(18)(a) A child, ward, youth or youth offender, or the parent or guardian of a child, ward, youth or youth offender who is a party to the juvenile court proceeding, who is entitled to inspect or copy the record of the case under subsection (1)(b) and (c) of this section maintains the right to inspect or copy the record of the case after jurisdiction of the court over the child, ward, youth or youth offender terminates and after the child, ward, youth or youth offender has reached the age of majority.

(b) Notwithstanding ORS 419B.524 (Effect of termination order), a parent of a child, ward, youth or youth offender whose parental rights have been terminated maintains the right that existed under subsection (1)(b) and (c) of this section to inspect or copy the record of the case as the record of the case existed up until the time of entry of the judgment terminating the parent’s parental rights and may obtain a copy of the judgment terminating the parent’s parental rights.

(19) When inspection or copying of the record of the case or of the supplemental confidential file is allowed pursuant to this section, and unless otherwise required by law, the court that maintains the record of the case or the supplemental confidential file is not required to redact the names of, or information about, siblings or other persons contained in the record of the case or the supplemental confidential file. [1993 c.33 §49; 1993 c.234 §3; 1993 c.546 §8; 1995 c.422 §68; 1997 c.724 §§3,4; 1999 c.59 §118; 1999 c.620 §8; 2001 c.904 §11; 2001 c.910 §1; 2003 c.143 §4; 2003 c.229 §9; 2003 c.396 §34a; 2007 c.611 §4; 2008 c.50 §9; 2013 c.417 §§3,11; 2013 c.439 §§7,8; 2014 c.71 §§2,3; 2015 c.293 §§1,2; 2016 c.95 §7; 2017 c.630 §7]

Note: The amendments to 419A.255 (Maintenance) by section 11, chapter 417, Oregon Laws 2013, and section 3, chapter 71, Oregon Laws 2014, became operative September 30, 2016, and apply to juvenile court proceedings commenced on or after September 30, 2016. See section 12, chapter 417, Oregon Laws 2013, as amended by section 8, chapter 71, Oregon Laws 2014, and section 3, chapter 293, Oregon Laws 2015.

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

In view of the confidential nature of the juvenile casework file, the trial court should have gone through the file and made available pertinent parts of it for de­fense (opposing) counsel to use in cross-examina­tion. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. La Mar, 7 Or App 132, 490 P2d 191 (1971)

A juvenile witness may not be impeached by evidence that he admitted acts which would be a crime if committed by an adult. State v. Burr, 18 Or App 494, 525 P2d 1067 (1974)

Files relating to parent’s treat­ment of other children are not absolutely inadmissible in pro­ceed­ing terminating parental rights. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Kramer, 34 Or App 1013, 580 P2d 211 (1978)

Defendant charged with arson was denied right of confronta­tion where trial court prevented de­fense from ques­tioning alleged accomplices about burglaries which they had admitted in prior juvenile pro­ceed­ings, because defendant’s need to cross-examine principal witnesses to show possible bias outweighed state’s need to maintain confidentiality of juvenile records. Burr v. Sullivan, 618 F2d 583 (1980)

In General

Juvenile court may order agency to provide adoptive home studies to attorney of dependent child prior to agency issuance of place­ment report. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Williams, 168 Or App 538, 7 P3d 655 (2000)

Where suitable adoptive place­ment is sought for child, court has discre­tion to order disclosure to court appointed special advocate of home study in­for­ma­­tion submitted to adop­tion committee for considera­tion. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Mitchell, 182 Or App 402, 49 P3d 838 (2002), Sup Ct review denied

Where child is no longer candidate for adop­tion, court may not order disclosure of adop­tion home studies to child’s attorney or court appointed special advocate. State ex rel State Office for Services to Children and Families v. Morgan, 183 Or App 140, 51 P3d 637 (2002)

Where defendant is circuit court judge who denies plaintiff’s public records request under this sec­tion, Article VII (Original), sec­tion 9, of Oregon Constitu­tion, prohibits an­oth­er circuit court judge from reviewing denial of public records request. Oregonian Publishing Co., LLC v. Waller, 253 Or App 123, 293 P3d 1046 (2012), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute

Access to police reports and records on juveniles by Oregon Law Enforce­ment Council, (1974) Vol 36, p 782; constitu­tionality of pro­vi­sions that juvenile court pro­ceed­ings and records may be closed to public, (1977) Vol 38, p 1504; release by police of­fi­cer of juvenile’s name at time of arrest, (1981) Vol 42, p 17

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 419A—Juvenile Code: General Provisions and Definitions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors419A.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 419A, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano419A.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.